Double Fine's Spacebase DF-9 recouped its $400,000 investment just two weeks after it first launched on Steam Early Access, it has been revealed.
Indie Fund says the fact that its biggest game investment has paid off so quickly opens the door for it to begin supporting larger projects.
Spacebase – the brainchild of J.P. LeBreton - was one of four games chosen for Double Fine's annual Amnesia Fortnight game jam last year, subsequently confirmed for public release in June, and arrived on Steam Early Access just a month ago.
The game's financial success was trumpeted in a blog post by Indie Fund, which fronted $75,000 of the total cash. The rest came from Humble Bundle, Hemisphere Games, make all, AppAbove Games, Adam Saltsman, The Behemoth, Morgan Webb, and Rob Reid.
This is quite a long list of backers, but Indie Fund said this dream-team of sponsors was necessary because it's the biggest project the indie investment firm has ever tackled.
“A typical project for us has been in the range of $50k – $150k,” reads the blog post.
“Spacebase required around $400k to develop, so it would have been unwise for Indie Fund to go it alone. A $400k game in a stable of $50k-$150k games would make for an imbalanced portfolio, and would mean more risk than we were comfortable with.”
Eighty-five percent of the $400,000 in sales came from Steam Early Access, and the rest came from direct sales by Double Fine.
These figures only account for the first two weeks after release, and do not include any sales the game received through The Humble Store.
The game's mechanics can be described as Dungeon Siege or Dwarf Fortress in space and borrows much from the popular roguelike strategy title, but given a makeover to look and feel more like the classic RTS.
Indie Fund won't stop funding smaller projects, but the success of a bigger investment and the partnership with other funders – many of them indie developers themselves – is certainly providing food for thought.
“This is an important milestone for us because the success of this experiment opens the door for us to support more projects of this magnitude in the future,” the blog entry continued.
“It also provides an encouraging data point about bringing together larger groups of people to support larger projects, and we are mulling over what this might mean for the future of Indie Fund.”